“Chocolate Pitter Patter,” she said excitedly.   “That’s the name of the pattern on the new collar and leash set I bought for J.R. for our photo shoot!”

How appropriate, I thought, to describe J.R. and his movements.  His little paws go a mile a minute to keep up with the world around him, which is significantly larger than he is.   He’s a maltese/yorkie/poodle mix, a.k.a. a morkiepoo, and he only weighs in at 13 lbs, although he has a BIG personality.

So on one fine October afternoon at a beautiful local winery, we let J.R. pitter patter his way around the grounds, proudly showing off his new gear.  His owner Judy scooped him up from time to time, to give kisses or simply have a little conversation, as they are wont to do.   (He’s a good listener.)

I’ve known J.R. almost his whole life, since he’s been a longtime boarding client of my other business Sierra Dogs, but photographing him and watching him interact with his owner was a whole new experience for me.

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  • JR Meagles - My day at the Winery was amazing. I especially enjoyed the Fall colors and trotting through the Vineyards on this wonderful day. I am very proud of the way my hair looked with the special mousse we applied. I really enjoyed working with you Eden. My Pitter Patter leash and harness are now two of my favorite things. Hugs and kisses, JR.ReplyCancel

I was asked to photograph multiple critters in a household recently, and that turned out to be two gorgeous adult yellow labrador retrievers, a foster puppy that we think is a terrier mix, a litter of tiny black and white foster kittens, and four beautiful and friendly adult cats.  They really gave me a workout trying to get shots of all of these active pets in one afternoon, but it was lots of fun!  Here are a few of my favorite shots so far.  I really admire the owner, Paula, for not only creating a loving home for her forever animals, but opening her heart and her home up to foster animals as well, in the hopes of finding them permanent families.

  • Trudy Kilian - These are wonderful pictures, Eden! I really love seeing the kitties in the wild (outdoors). The cat with Bengal markings really looks like a not-too-distant cousin of a wild Bengal Tiger. All four of the cats look so “knowing.” I also love the picture of the kitten walking on the back of the couch. Something tells me that this kitty is going to be quite the adventurer! “Sasha on the couch” looks like she is trying to tell you a good story.

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us, Eden!ReplyCancel

  • cindy smith - These are great ..you really captured all of them in a very natural way. Enjoy looking at your pictures..ReplyCancel

  • Nadine Rozowsky - Such beautiful pictures!!! I love them all. The outdoor cats are exceptional.ReplyCancel

  • Elise - Very beautiful photosReplyCancel

  • Paula - As the proud mom of these beautiful animals, all I can say is thank you Eden for taking such wonderful pictures. I particularly love the photo of Dasher (my big black sweetie) — all of my photos of him end up looking like a black blob– the composition and colors of that photo are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Paula - I also adore the photo of Princess Lola owning the couch! Cannot wait to see more!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Weisberg - You are an amazing photographer and these are gorgeous photos.ReplyCancel

I thought it would be difficult to match the excitement of the first day from my week-long horse photography adventure, but I was wrong (see Day One here).  We went to a spectacular beach location called Loon Point, not far from Santa Barbara, and were treated to a whole assortment of gorgeous horses and models.  I was able to shoot everything from candid and natural shots to more stylized photographs; it was like several shoots in one.

First, I took a few candid shots as people were having fun and getting the horses used to the environment:

 

Next, I was able to photograph a variety of people riding up and down the beach in casual fashion.

 

We also set up a number of more traditional romantic scenes…

 

Lastly, I was able to play around with some more stylized shots, according to my vision of what would suit the subjects…

 

Stay tuned for photos from Day Three!

  • Trudy Kilian - You saved the best for last, Eden! :-)Seriously, these are soooo good! I need some time to digest all the various images, styles, models, horses, etc. So, you might see more comments from me, later.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Spielman - These are great shots Eden. It was good to get together and hear about your trip. I look forward to seeing the rest!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Weisberg - Wow! Gorgeous horses, locations, light and models and you did an amazing job of capturing it all. My favorite is of the horse who’s tail is backlit with dust on the ground and in front of the canon-like rock in B&W. That is truly spectacular. it looks like a waterfall.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer canning - Absolutely amazing Eden!!!ReplyCancel

I spent last week photographing some of the most beautiful horses in the world, at some of the most incredible locations in California, courtesy of renowned equine photographer April Visel of Visel Photography (thank you April!).   This was a complete change of pace for me, allowing me to push my photography in new directions, explore my creative and fine art side, and simply experience something new and wonderful with other people who love photography and love animals.

Day One of my exciting week started off with a bang.  A group of us were invited to Varian Arabians, to meet the owner Sheila Varian, have dinner & wine, tour the grounds, and photograph horses as well as cowgirls riding at sunset (more about that in a minute).

First, I got to fall in love with some new foals and their mamas, and to meet them up close…

 

Next, it was on to watching a couple of gorgeous gray Arabian geldings frolic in a small paddock.  They looked beautiful both coming and going…

 

Next, we got to see a wonderful proud young stallion, all flared nostrils, rippling muscle, long neck, and high tail — he loved having his own paparazzi, and would do wonderful showy moves like running toward us and skidding to a halt in a dramatic way, like here…

 

Toward sunset, at the end of what was already an incredible day, we got a real treat.  Four talented horsewomen rode for us and showed off their skills.  Two of them are actually inducted in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Sheila Varian herself, and Audrey O’Brien Griffin.  They rode and did tricks while we photographed them in the dust and the sunset light.

Here is the incomparable Sheila Varian herself:

 

Here are the three other women joining her in showing us how cowgirls really ride…

 

This shot is of Audrey riding by after demonstrating that she can spin her horse using no hands.  Look at that smile — that is a woman who belongs on horseback!

 

Then, as the sun sank, these women rode and performed in the last light, with the dust as a backdrop, creating a beautiful blur of motion and light…

 

There was so much to take in, and it was only Day One of my week-long horse odyssey!  The next post (Day Two) will have shots from a gorgeous beach…  But before I leave you, here are two shots that I’m really proud of.  One of my goals this week was to push my artistic expression further into the fine art realm, and to access a more creative space.  Here are my first results — the first of a lovely Arabian mare, and the second a head shot of one of the gray Arabian horses pictured above.

  • TraTraci Matkoski - WOW! Absolutely beautiful and a different side of your photography talent that I have not seen before. I can’t wait to see more!

    I can’t believe that was only one day!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - Beautiful work Eden, your affinity with the subject shows.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Vinez - I admire Sheila Varian and what she has done over the years to contribute to the Arabian Horses. Thank you Sheila Varian
    Thanks for the photos you shared. I loved your photographer. I especially liked your photo dressed western!ReplyCancel

  • Holly Morrison - Beautiful work, Eden!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Weisberg - Yee haw! Every single one of these photos is amazing. It just gets better and better. That first image was a great way to start this blog post, it has an emotional quality to it. Truly spectacular.ReplyCancel

  • Equine Adventures, Day Two: The Beach » Sierra Luna Photography - […] of the first day from my week-long horse photography adventure, but I was wrong (see Day One here).  We went to a spectacular beach location called Loon Point, not far from Santa Barbara, and were […]ReplyCancel

I recently photographed an entire litter of chocolate lab puppies and their mama, here in Placerville.  I quickly realized that I should have had more puppy-wranglers in my employ!  These little bundles of joy ran amok, doing what puppies do:  putting their mouths on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, not holding still for a second, tumbling all over the place — it was wonderful!  They played tug, nursed when mama would let them, chewed on sticks, toys, and anything else handy, and they “helped” with some gardening, and at the very end, near sunset, they started to slow down.  I knew we were done when one of them lay down and stuck her tongue out! (see final photo)  Here are a few shots of them having a wonderful time on their first outing away from home.  Enjoy!

  • cindy smith - great pictures Eden, so cute.ReplyCancel

  • sierraluna - Thanks, Cindy! They were a lot of fun to work with, as you can imagine!ReplyCancel

  • Holly Morrison - Marvelous! The client must be overjoyed with your pics, Eden.ReplyCancel

  • Nadine Rozowsky - I love the pictures. You truly captures the heart and souls of these Labs.ReplyCancel